Is abortion healthcare?

In an interview with ABC news, President Obama doesn’t seem to include abortion in his definition of health care.

Federal law currently restricts federal funding for abortions, and the Supreme Court has upheld the principle of not subsidizing something just because it’s a Constitutional right.

If the goal of healthcare reform is to provide universal coverage and reduce costs, and abortion is excluded, then it raises the question of whether abortion is healthcare. According to the transcript, Obama said:

You know, I laid out a very simple principle, which is this is a health care bill, not an abortion bill. And we’re not looking to change what is the principle that has been in place for a very long time, which is federal dollars are not used to subsidize abortions. And I want to make sure that the provision that emerges meets that test — that we are not in some way sneaking in funding for abortions, but, on the other hand, that we’re not restricting women’s insurance choices, because one of the pledges I made in that same speech was to say that if you’re happy and satisfied with the insurance that you have, that it’s not going to change. …

[Q]: Do you think that amendment is status quo or does it lean a little bit in one direction or the other?

OBAMA: I think that there are strong feelings on both sides. And what that tells me is that there needs to be some more work before we get to the point where we’re not changing the status quo. And that’s the goal.

It occurs to me that one benefit of a single-payer healthcare system is that without separate systems for rich and poor women, excluding poor women from reproductive care wouldn’t be so easy.

(Wait a minute: When did “not changing the status quo” become “the goal”?)

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